Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Couple Recounts Ordeal

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Couple Recounts Ordeal

Article excerpt

Erin Smith


IT WAS just before 5am on Saturday. Raylene Swain had just gotten back into bed next to her husband Graham after making a trip to the toilet.

"I had been away for a week visiting friends and family in Brisbane," Raylene said.

"On the way back to the bedroom I noticed that there was a really bad smell. The house just stank.

"But I knew Graham had gone to a lot of trouble to have the house clean for when I got home so I didn't say anything.

"When I got back into bed Graham rolled over and joked about how it had been the best sleep he had had all week."

Neither of them could have guessed the chaos that would unfold in the next 10 minutes.

"We cuddled back up and were just drifting back to sleep when there was an almighty bang," Raylene said.

"The power went out. I thought someone had run into the power pole out the front of the house."

They grabbed torches and raced to the front door of their Warner St home.

There was no accident.

Raylene said she ran around the house pulling back curtains and peering through windows trying to work out what had caused the bang.

"All I could see was black," she said.

"At the time I thought it was still dark outside. Now I realise it was smoke."

Graham was in the kitchen getting a glass of water when he noticed a hole in the floor.

"He just screamed 'Quick! Get out! The house is on fire! Get out, get out!'," Raylene said.

"I was on my way out when I remembered my mobile phone was the table, so I went back to get it.

"Graham was still screaming at me to get out.

"The fire alarm wasn't going off so I didn't think it could be too big of a fire.

"But then there was just black smoke everywhere.

"I yelled out that I was going to go down the road and call the fire brigade."

But over the fire alarm, which had kicked in now, and the roar of the fire Graham hadn't heard what his wife had said.

He stayed in the house, kicking his feet along the floor, because by that stage the smoke was so bad he assumed that Raylene would be down nice and low.

The smoke got so thick that Graham was choking. …

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